Fresh Food, featuring a couple new American spots, plenty of expansions and two major food-heavy festivals.
The end of the year’s quickly creeping up, but plenty of new openings and events are capitalising on the last few weeks of 2014. With that said, let's get into this week's Fresh Food.
First up, famed Hong Kong chef Mike Boyle (above), formerly of AVA Restaurant Slash Bar (80%) and Bistecca (75%), has taken over the reins of Awakening Café. He’s rebranded it The Awakening (68%) and revamped its menu to tap into Sai Ying Pun’s hipster eating trends, by serving up ‘healthier’ takes on its classic American diner offerings. Think burgers, ribs and chicken wings, but all sugar- and gluten-free.
Also going for classic US bites, a new BBQ shack called Smokey Joe’s has soft-opened on Elgin Street – it’s got that classic ‘Soho’ vibe and from the looks of it, is cashing in on the success of 85 South (65%) and The Roundhouse (70%).
Yet another French bistro has popped up, this time on School Street in Tai Hang: Les Pucelles is done up like a little Parisian corner spot, and serves an impressive selection of wine, cheeses and simple, hearty meals. And Café Deco Pizzeria (78%) has branched out with a second outlet after their successful Elements opening, this time on Po Yan Street in Sheung Wan.
Speaking of Elements, the Japanese noodles chain Ramen Jo (80%) is opening a new shop front in the mall next month. And also opening in December, a second branch of Woo Tung Yakiniku (67%), this time on Hillier Street in Sheung Wan – it’s a Taiwanese take on Japanese-influenced Korean barbecue, in case you were confused.
Just one closure this week: Soho Italian restaurant, Sole Mio, has seemingly shut its doors, a somewhat sad shutter considering it’s been there since the area’s early days, but really the quality couldn’t compete with the current contemporary offerings.
Event news, Clockenflap will once again take place at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade at the end of this month, from November 28 to 30. Along with over 100 musicians, artists and others, there’ll be dozens of food vendors at the fest, including Brickhouse (69%), Beef & Liberty (71%), Mavericks (73%) and more.
And at the same space a couple weekends later, the next round of Sumo Sushi Sake takes place on December 13. West Kowloon is a noticeable step up for the Japanese fest, considering it last year took place at the Indian Recreation Club. Vendors currently include 298 Nikuya Kitchen (74%), Tiger Curry (73%), Nan Tei (77%) and others.